Beverly Hills Boxing Club founder Bobby Giordano exudes a formidable aura — equal measures steely Sicilian certitude and welcoming fraternal warmth — that perfectly reflects the dual nature of his organization. Created with the twin goals of fundraising for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and providing guidance to at-risk youth, BHBC represents a deep-rooted, scrappy slice of unusual Los Angeles culture. As much sheer mystique and state of mind as it is a charitable athletic guild, BHBC affiliates include straight-up fight insiders like martial arts champions Jerry Bell, Chuck Zito and Kenny Johnson as well as actors Michael Bowen and Bobby Carradine.
“In the late ’80s, my friend Mickey Rourke owned this great boxing gym on Cole Street in Hollywood,” Giordano says. “He welcomed me to use his gym anytime, This generosity and workout philosophy has inspired me to this day. In 1991, I invited a small group of local teens, kids that had been getting into trouble and/or getting bullied, to my house on Sunday mornings to learn how to box, getting them off the streets and into the gym, to develop discipline, confidence and boxing skills. for free. It grew through word-of-mouth — soon the yard was full of kids I didn’t even know. That officially began the Beverly Hills Boxing Club.”
Giordano promotes a sweet, slightly skewed brand of streetwise philosophy along with his outreach and fundraising, carried out via donations from the club’s custom line of apparel.
“Boxing has helped me as an adult, and it would have been great to have been introduced to it as a kid on the streets of NYC,” Giordano affirms. “Youths need a place where they feel safe, accepted, and where they receive a positive influence and discipline. So I’m passionate about helping them get a good start.”
He does so with an unusual modus operandi, one closely linked to showbiz heavy hitters and high-profile Beverly Hills merchants.
“We're strategically allied with the Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills,” Giordano explains. “Giuseppe is a close friend and embraces our philosophy, and he has been a great support. His staff and Hollywood A-list clients have helped create buzz about BHBC by wearing our clothing all over town.”
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BHBC conducts a series of diverse social and educational affairs, some involving the familiar red-carpet ritual, others surprising in their diverse reach.
“Our most recent event was hosting students from Tokyo’s Yamano College of Aesthetics,” Giordano says. “We met with the university associate professor John Parker and his students; we discussed our brand and mission. They fell in love with our shirts and hats and were excited to carry our message back to Tokyo, Japan.
“We still have that original passion for the youth of Los Angeles and plan to expand our facilities across the world, to not only promote boxing but, more importantly, to make people feel welcome and build their confidence," Giordano declares passionately. "Anyone can have his or her own BHBC — it only requires a personal desire to become involved in a regime of fitness and camaraderie.”
Beverly Hills Boxing Club, 2370 Sunset Plaza Drive, West Hollywood; (424) 777-5085. beverlyhillsboxingclub.com.